The Sales25: Great Salespeople …
1. Know the product. (Find cool mentors, and use them.)
2. Know the company.
3. Know the customer. (Including the customer’s consultants.) (And especially the “corporate culture.”)
4. Love internal politics at home and abroad.
5. Religiously respect competitors. (No badmouthing, no matter how provoked.)
6. Wire the customer’s org. (Relationships at all levels & functions.)
7. Wire the home team’s org. and vendors’ orgs. (INVEST Big Time time in relationships at all levels & functions.) (Take junior people in all functions to client meetings.)
8. Never overpromise. (Even if it costs you your job.)
9. Sell only by solving problems-creating profitable opportunities. (“Our product solves these problems, creates these unimagined INCREDIBLE opportunities, and will make you a ton of money—here’s exactly how.”) (IS THIS A “PRODUCT SALE” OR A WOW-ORIGINAL SOLUTION YOU’LL BE DINING OFF 5 YEARS FROM NOW? THAT WILL BE WRITTEN UP IN THE TRADE PRESS?)
10. Will involve anybody—including mortal enemies—if it enhances the scope of the problem we can solve and increases the scope of the opportunity we can encompass.
11. Know the Brand Story cold; live the Brand Story. (If not, leave.)
12. Think “Turnkey.” (It’s always your problem!)
13. Act as “orchestra conductor”: You are responsible for making the whole-damn-network respond. (PERIOD.)
14. Help the customer get to know the vendor’s organization & build up their Rolodex.
15. Walk away from bad business. (Even if it gets you fired.)
16. Understand the idea of a “good loss.” (A bold effort that’s sometimes better than a lousy win.)
17. Think those who regularly say “It’s all a price issue” suffer from rampant immaturity & shrunken imagination.
18. Will not give away the store to get a foot in the door.
19. Are wary & respectful of upstarts—the real enemy.
20. Seek several “cool customers”—who’ll drag you into Tomorrowland.
21. Use the word “partnership” obsessively, even though it is way overused. (“Partnership” includes folks at all levels throughout the supply chain.)
22. Send thank you notes by the truckload. (NOT E-NOTES.) (Most are for “little things.”) (50% of those notes are sent to those in our company!) Remember birthdays. Use the word “we.”
23. When you look across the table at the customer, think religiously to yourself: “HOW CAN I MAKE THIS DUDE RICH & FAMOUS & GET HIM-HER PROMOTED?”
24. Great salespeople in great technology companies can affirmatively respond to the query in an HP banner ad: HAVE YOU CHANGED CIVILIZATION TODAY?
25. Keep your bloody PowerPoint slides simple!